We’re headed into the second half of our winter surf season.
Some are out with injuries.
Some need to catch up at work.
Nick has the flu.
Menko has something alien in his ear canal.
Yesterday I paddled half a mile off shore on the east side and surfed solo. Challenging, windy, heavy. Cold water, cold wind. Beautiful- but not in the shiny way. There was a big monk seal safe on the warm sand and the area felt sharky. Plenty current. Fast and critical waves. A shallow slab of reef as my only line-up. Nobody around. Difficult to huck yourself over the ledge and airdrop into the bowl when you know you’re all alone. That no one can help you if you if you break a hip or bash your head in.
Today I have a full afternoon. Yoga class to teach. Carpentry for three or four hours after lunch.
But I’ve got a little window. Right now. And the winds have finally slacked off. There’s a sloppy, ten foot swell running, and there’s a chance.
So I’m gonna tuck this little computer away. Load up a 7’10. Put on a wristwatch. Set my jaw, and go paddle out solo again. Though I enjoy these surfs… they’re not giggly light-hearted affairs. It’s going out into a dangerous sea because it’s my duty. I have to. Maybe I’ll ride my waves well. Maybe I’ll get clobbered. Maybe I’ll come in with satisfaction and strength. Maybe I’ll get back to shore humbled and bloody.
But in order to have the ability and confidence on the days when it’s huge and perfect, I need to go pay my dues now. I need to stay as sharp and strong as possible.
This is what we do.
And at this point, headed into the second half of the season… when I say ‘we’ it seems that I’m just talking to myself.